On Wednesday, 24th May, I was invited to the retirement celebration for Puan Tan Tee Hwa, who is also known as Puan Debbie Yeong , the outgoing Headmistress of SMK Convent Sentul, Kuala Lumpur. She has served in this secondary school as Headmistress since 2011. In these last seven years of her career she gave her total sincere dedication to the school. She really lived out her motto of “God has gone ahead of me to prepare the way.”. She truly believed that her excellent achievements these past seven years were truly that of God who went ahead of her in her career to prepare the teachers, students, the school and society in large. When we look back at our SMK Convent School, Sentul, a Catholic mission school, we can see how she has brought her school to greater heights in the Federal Territory zone.
Her husband, Jason Yeong, has been very supportive of her teaching career. She had stressed in her speech that all teachers and students should not stop learning at any point of their lives and that all the good things should be passed down to the next. Some lessons that pass through our lives can be painful or priceless but somehow, we learn something through someone. Whatever lessons we learn will help us to live our lives more meaningfully and surely will make us happy.
I have known her since June 2014 and we have worked hand in hand and through mutual understanding to achieve the needs of the school and students to a certain extent. She has been very hardworking and has given her best for her schools and students in her previous schools as well these past 30 years as a teacher and finally as a Headmistress.
Puan Marzita who is from SMK Convent Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur, will be the Assistant Administrator of SMK Convent Sentul until the new headmistress is appointed by the Federal Territory Education Department. There are a few Christian teachers whose names have been proposed for the post of headmistress of SMK Convent Sentul by the school board but their nominations have not been accepted yet. We pray and hope through God’s intervention that SMK Convent Sentul will have a Christian Teacher as a Headmistress. This has been the tradition in all our mission schools in our country.
A few weeks ago, Ms. Cheryl Ann Fernando, our parishioner from Sri Gombak, presented me with a complimentary copy of her self-published book “T For Teacher: Navigating The School Front, 2017”. I was really fascinated with her writing describing her actual teaching experience which has made a difference in the lives of her students in Sungai Petani, Kedah. These experiences in school have inspired her to release a Malay movie entitled “ADIWIRAKU”, one of the first few education-related films in Malaysia. Kudos Cheryl!
This month we have been celebrating Teacher’s Day. In Indian culture, a teacher has been given a prominent place above God. If you realise every successful individual always recalls his or her teachers from their schools, colleges or universities. Teachers have played a very important role towards shaping every aspect of the life of their students. In fact, our Catechism teachers in our parish too play a vital role in making their faith and education lessons more effective and interesting as they facilitate students learning. Every teacher should acknowledge his or her vital role in the society and nation.
“HAPPY TEACHERS ARE ALWAYS PRODUCTIVE TEACHERS.”
Fr. George Packiasamy